by Ahmer Mustikhan
OSLO, Norway: The fiery lawyer and former fisheries minister in Balochistan was an eyewitness to the kidnapping of the three of the best known independence activists in Mekran.
The three activists Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, president of the Baloch National Movment, Lala Munir Baloch, vice president of the B.N.M., and Sher Mohammad Baloch, joint secretary of the Baloch Republican Party, were last seen at his office on April 3 ,2009. Three days later badly mutilated bodies of the three were found from the foothills of Pidarak outside Turbat.
Advocate Kachkol Ali, who is now one of the two coordinators of the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, ran from pillar to post to save the lives of the three activists.
Once a leader of the National Party, Ali says he has “spiritually resigned” from the party. He recently publicly came out against his longtime comrades, including party president Dr. Malik Baloch, for their attacks on the Baloch resistance to appease Islamabad.
Ali has joined hands in Norway with noted Baloch columnist, playwright and novelist Hafeez Hassanabadi, to work towards getting justice for the victims of enforced disappearances from the platform of the recently launched I.V.B.M.P.
The I.V.B.M.P. was formed in response to a request by Banuk Farzana Majeed, sister of Zakir Majeed, senior vice chairman of the Baloch Students Organization Azad who was forcibly disappeared by the Pakistani intelligence services on June 8, 2009.
Nothing is known about Zakir Majeed’s fate; since Pakistan is a rogue state officials of the country lied in January that he has been freed.
On Friday, Ali sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon against what he charged was Islamabad’s ethnic cleansing of his Baloch people.
After abducting Baloch freedom activists, Pakistani intelligence officials threaten the victim families of dire consequences, including death, if they raise their voice for their freedom, this reporter has learned.
Nasrullah Baloch, who is also a member of the I.V.B.M.P. and founder of the Quetta-based Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has revealed that the intelligence agencies had pressured him to issue a statement that his uncle Ali Asghar Bangulzai is not in the custody of the intelligence services.
Ali Asghar Bangulzai was abducted by the the infamous Inter Services Intelligence on October 18, 2001 and his exact whereabouts have been hidden from the victim family, which has been running for justice from pillar to post for almost nine years.
A team of the victim families led by former member of the national assembly and senator, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, met with the then chief of the Inter Services Intelligence agency in Balochistan, Brigadier Mohammad Siddiq, who had assured them that Bangulzai was in the custody of the Inter Services Intelligence and would be freed soon. This was seven years ago.
“I was told by Governor Owais Ghani in the governor’s House that my life would be in serious harm’s way if I did not stop my activism,” Nasrullah Baloch said on phone from Quetta. The former governor of Balochistan Owais Ghani is one of the blue-eyed boys of the Inter Services Intelligence.
Ali expressed anguish over the state violence against the Baloch.
“Since 17th march 2005 Pakistan is conducting ethnic cleansing of Baloch nation. When Pakistan security forces in league with the paramilitary forces bombarded the house of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, on account of which more than sixty innocent civilian persons majority of whom were Hindu including children and women were murdered and thousands of people were displaced from their homes,” Ali wrote to Ki.moon.
Thursday was the fourth anniversary of the military’s extrajudicial assassination of former Balochistan governor and chief minister Nawab Akbar Bugti, that was observed in the length and breadth of Balochistan.
Ali said the atrocities and brutal practices of Pakistan security forces are continuing to this day. “There is regular kidnappings, killings and enforced disappearances,” he said in his missive to the U.N. secretary general.
He also sent to Ban-ki Moon a dossier compiled by the Quetta-based Voice for Baloch Missing Persons that lists the “missing persons,” the term used for victims of involuntary and enforced disappearances in Balochistan.
“Missing persons are in illegal custody of security forces, neither are they being produced before any competent court, nor their family members know their whereabouts,” Ali deplored.
Interestingly, in spite of flagrant violations of human rights Pakistan is a state member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Ali said Islamabad has ratified the international Covenant on Civil and Political Right (ICCPR) the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and international Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedomsbut regretted that all these international instruments were being fragrantly violated by Pakistan.
He said Pakistani security establishment is killing and throwing dead bodies of Baloch political and freedom activists in open public places who were in the illegal custody of intelligence a “state policy“ to terrorize the Baloch nation, which “amounts to state terrorism in the spirit of international law.”
Using internationally recognized legal terminology, Ali appealed to Ban-Ki Moon as “guardian of United Nations and custodian of international law and instruments which are being grossly violated in Pakistan, for punitive intervention measure to be taken against Pakistan on the ground of international law.
“It is further requested that an investigation committee to be sent to Balochistan under the provisions of the Convention on Torture.”
The I.V.B.M.P. has been launched in Sweden with the specific mission of aiding the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) in determining the fate and whereabouts of their relatives. The Working Group is a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, aiming to ensure that individual cases which families have brought to its attention are investigated by domestic authorities with the objective of clarifying the fate or whereabouts of disappeared persons.
The I.V.B.M.P. joins together the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons with leading Baloch human rights activists in United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.